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Morning Read: Can Common Core Help ‘Appalling’ PISA Scores

LA School Report | December 11, 2013

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Can American students get smart?
Commentary: The latest international test scores of 15-year-olds are in, and the results are appalling. The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, found that the United States — the most affluent country in the world — failed to rank in the top 20 in any category. LA Times

LAUSD board member LaMotte honored by tolling of school bells
Los Angeles Unified school board member Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, who died last Thursday at the age of 80, was honored Tuesday morning by the tolling of bells at schools throughout the district. LA Daily News

California teacher firing fix could go directly to voters
An education advocacy group known for supporting charter schools is pushing a ballot initiative that would streamline the process for firing abusive teachers, after bills on the subject failed in back-to-back years. Sacramento Bee

Budget deal could offer school districts relief from sequestration
School districts would get some relief from the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration under an agreement announced Tuesday by a bipartisan pair of House and Senate negotiators. EdWeek

U.S. charter school enrollment up 80 percent since 2008
Enrollment in the nation’s public charter schools has increased 80 percent in the past five years to a total of 2.3 million students in 41 states, according to a new survey released Tuesday. SI&A Cabinet Report

Data shows SF black students suspended at extremely high rates
One of America’s most liberal bastions — San Francisco — has cut student suspensions by nearly a third in three years but continues to struggle with grossly disproportionate suspensions of black students. Center for Public Integrity

Newtown massacre prompts more vigilance in schools
Every morning Sgt. Edward Weihe walks into his office here and sifts through the police blotter to see what calls came in overnight. An interesting shift for a town’s police department can look blasé when reduced to paper forms: suspicious people outside buildings, vandalism, juvenile arrests. New York Times

Missing From Science Class
Editorial: A big reason America is falling behind other countries in science and math is that we have effectively written off a huge chunk of our population as uninterested in those fields or incapable of succeeding in them. New York Times

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